What if I tell you that there is a possibility of awakening in this moment or now? And that nothing needs to be done other than allowing things to reveal themselves in consciousness without resistance.
What if I tell you that every layer of unreality can be shed at this moment, revealing your true nature? That there’s no need for any practice, penance, or pilgrimage to be in the bliss of this present moment.
The best part is that this liberation frees the individual from both the real and the unreal. Reality and illusion are concepts of the mind that have no concrete existence of their own. A reality that is expressed in words is a part of the illusion. Yet, that’s the only way communication happens.
Consciousness is the fundamental reality. There can be no reality outside consciousness. Consciousness is this eternal moment or now, which is an omnipresent, all-pervading supreme being that is your true nature.
Your “being” is in the consciousness, and the consciousness is in “your” being.
Have you ever known anything outside your consciousness? You may say that there’s so much vastness in the universe that I’m unaware of, but it exists. However, examine that you know this only because that information reached you somehow; someone told you, or you thought about it. Whatever the cause may be, it came up in your consciousness directly or indirectly. In deep sleep, there’s neither “you” nor the vastness of the universe.
Knowledge cannot exist independently of the observer. To know something, there has to be a knower. But the knower itself is an appearance in consciousness. If you were truly the knower, how would you know that?
You are that pure consciousness that illuminates the knower and the known as images. Pure awareness cannot be known objectively, yet it is your living experience. It cannot be perceived by the subject because it makes the perception possible. The mind, body, and senses are appearances in consciousness.
Truth cannot be expressed in words or communicated from one to another because it is the substratum of all appearances manifesting as reality and illusion. The truth comes only in silence. That’s why the Sages say that silence is the highest teaching.
I had spent many years as a spiritual seeker looking for answers. It only took a moment’s true silence to reveal everything. That moment was an extraordinary revelation that brought about an end to the conceptual thought “me.”
Initially, it was extremely unsettling and disturbing to my mind. It felt like the thundering sky had dealt a deadly lightning blow to my sense of personal identification. I saw my worldly constructs crumbling right before my eyes. I saw a great contradiction in all worldly concepts. It brought great disturbance.
That’s when my true spiritual seeking began with the question, “who is this entity I call me?” “Who is this entity that claims ownership of this mind-body complex but whose existence cannot be objectively verified?” And lastly, why was this dissolution of the sense of separation so blissful?
What I’d seen (or unseen) was so peaceful that I wanted to re-experience it again. I wanted to grasp and hold on to it. And in that grasping, the peace that I desired was eluding me. This idea that the person is calling himself or herself “me” is an illusion is difficult to grasp by the thinking mind.
The thinking mind is “me.” Therefore, it never concurs with the idea of its non-existence. On the contrary, it fights against this idea to conform to its fanciful notion of personal liberation, which is impossible.
So, while the realization was sudden, it took many years for it to sink deep as the final deliverance. In this time of self-reflection, contemplation, self-inquiry, and hours of daily meditation practice, I was missing what was always available – the possibility of now.
I’m not implying that you should not practice meditation or self-inquiry. All spiritual practices are helpful, but practices alone cannot bring about liberation or realization of the true self.
The Futility of the Striving for Liberation
When I first heard non-dual teachings from masters like Jiddu Krishnamurti, Ramana Maharshi, and Ramesh Balsekar, my instant reaction was of awe and wonder because their words had been my living experience.
Most of these teachers did not prescribe a practice for self-realization because they knew the futility of it. They knew they were speaking to the gatekeepers (ego-minds), and the message had to be delivered to the unconscious.
The idea is to simplify living where nothing is to be either added or removed but recognize the truth shining in all its purity. Peace prevails in the simplicity of What-Is, which is surrender to the unfiltered and unaltered flow of life.
The reason why we have a conflict-ridden society is that we are unable to accept the simplicity of What-Is. We want to change things according to our views, ideas, and beliefs. This creates conflict and suffering.
Notice how much pain and suffering you create for yourself when you fight against your own nature. You say things like, “I should not be reactive,” “I should be calm,” “I should be generous and forgiving,” “I should be good,” “I should be loving and caring,” “people should understand me,” “people should respect me,” and so goes on the endless ruminations of this thinking ego-mind covering up What-Is with What-should-or-should-not-be.
We are so convinced of our righteousness that we are willing a wage a war on the world to assert our views, just like previous generations. Even in spiritual matters, we contemplate renunciation and detachment to “become” something pure or better, assuming that we’re impure right now.
There are people who have tortured themselves, living in isolation in Himalayan caves for decades, practicing meditation, hardened discipline, and spiritual penance to prove to themselves that they are not like the rest. That’s how tricky the ego-mind can be. It is the “doer.”
The ego-mind striving to become liberated remains oblivious to the fact that the very strive to attain liberation is a diversion from the joy of this present moment that is beyond time and space. All illusions are created by the thinking mind itself.
This timeless moment is pure consciousness in which the phantom or conceptual thought “me” is just an appearance. Where is this “me” in your body? Is it in your head or feet? Is there any localized point within the body where you feel it resides? It cannot be real because reality is not subject to temporal changes.
The “me” or “I-thought” only exists in the waking and dreaming states, but not in the dreamless deep sleep. You may wonder, if there’s no “me” in the deep sleep, how do I know that I slept? You say, “I slept,” only when you’re awake. You don’t say I’m sleeping in deep sleep.
You can’t describe the absence of experience as an experience. Yet, something was there in deep sleep that was awake; that never sleeps. Spiritual teachers say, find out who that was, and you’ll know the truth.
Truth is neither outwards nor inwards. It is here and now, in this present moment. In the process of spiritual seeking, it is natural for the mind to turn inwards in search of truth. But the mind itself being an illusion cannot discover the truth. Truth comes when the mind surrenders to the reality of the present moment or now.
The period of spiritual seeking is a turbulent one for most people because the mind flip-flops occasionally. As the old psychological conditioning dissolves and paves way for new conditioning, one goes through a period known as the spiritual crisis, which has been referred to as the dark night of the soul in the scriptures.
During this time, the ego-mind, on the path of its cessation, fights tooth and nail to survive. There is great confusion, conflict, and chaos. Having gone through this myself, I can say that this probably is one of the worst forms of depression. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
That’s where the suffering ends because the illusory depressed person disappears. It is when the man discovers that he is the very light he seeks; that there’s nothing but the eternally shining light of pure consciousness; that the seeker seeking liberation is an illusion.
Rumi says that you’re not a drop in the ocean but the entire ocean in a drop. The drops may arise and dissolve, but they are never separate from the ocean. The drop believing itself to be separate from the ocean wonders why it’s so insignificant. It fights, struggles, and suffers its entire life to gain relevance and permanence, not knowing that liberation lies in dissolving in the ocean and not living in separation from it.
The infinite ocean of pure consciousness is our true essence. Even when the body disintegrates, nothing happens to the consciousness. Consciousness is indestructible because it was never created. What comes to end is the identified aspect of consciousness that we refer to as the ego-mind, but nothing happens to the pure consciousness or source that is our true nature. I AM THAT I AM.
Allow the Dissolution to Happen; Let Go of Whatever That Wants To Go
Why do you feel scared? What are you concerned about? By trying to grasp and control life, all you’re doing is strengthening your sense of personal identification. Just “BE” and let the person dissolve in “being.” Surrender to the cosmic will, and there will be no need for detachment, renunciation, and liberation. Things will happen on their own accord.
That’s the effortlessness Sages speak about. It is natural for the ego to put effort initially. That is what we call sadhana. It is a concept. No practice can bring about liberation unless it is the will of God. The Bible says it clearly, “Thy will not mine be done, oh lord.”
The implication is not to abandon spiritual practices. All practices are beneficial. I meditate and have written a book on meditation. But no practice can lead to liberation unless the “doer” of the practice realizes its illusory existence.
Therefore, if spiritual liberation is to happen, according to the cosmic will and through a particular practice, it will so happen. Hence, I would never suggest that you abandon your spiritual practice. It would be wrong to say that spiritual awakening would happen only through one particular method, technique, practice, or doing nothing.
Do whatever you feel a natural inclination towards. Spiritual awakening can happen anywhere, anytime, and without any reason.
There is no cause for spiritual awakening other than the fact that the person wakes up to its dissolution. For many people, it feels unsettling in the beginning. Many people who experience awakening reach out to me with this predicament.
It’s a matter of time as this realization of no-center-consciousness sinks deeper into the mind leading to its final surrender. What remains is a sense of peace or a neutral natural state which can only be described as peace.
Once this peaceful and boundless awareness ceases the individual, it never disappears. You realize that you are and have always been this pure awareness, and the movement of mind that creates life as we know it is only a dream.